Taber the Airtoons Pilot: Saving Humans One Airline Safety Card Parody at a Time

While perusing through the Interwebs, waiting for inspiration to strike, Safety Cat ran across—a site dedicated to adding amusing captions to Airline safety cards.

The little safety illustrations amused him so much that Safety Cat wanted to extend the honor of having the site's founding Human, who goes by the name of Taber (sounds like a cat name), be his first feline to biped interview.

Safety Cat's Cronkite-ish questions and Taber's answers are below. Safety Cat's comments on this human's answers are italicized.

Q. Who are you? How many years are you? What is your real job? (Safety Cat hopes starting with a three-part question will not confuse you.)

Three-part answer: I am Taber, the Airtoons Pilot, the individual in charge of creating and maintaining (ie: "flying" [clever]) the Airtoons Web site and its associated contents. I just turned 31 years of age last month. My real job is large-Internet-company-worker-bee. That is to say I design/code Web sites by day and deal in Airtoons type of propaganda by night (on occasion).

Q. When did you decide it was your humanly duty to add letters to these safety pictures?

Airtoons Fantastic DanI decided I had to do something about these safety pictures during my collegiate years back in good ole 1999. I believe I was a junior at Syracuse University and I had a safety card laying around my desk for a few months or so that I planned to eventually use for inspiration on my personal Web site.

After scanning it and looking through the panels, I discovered a couple of things each one had in common: 1) There were no captions on them, and 2) Some of them were drawn so weird. I mean like weird: A cowboy-looking dude in full-on chaps about to hop out into the water; this guy in a purple tuxedo with a top hat to complete the look, gracefully cantering for the exit; and this guy who seems to be eating licorice while floating around in the water. So between classes one day I threw a caption on Mr. Licorice and a few others and showed them to some of my friends. The taller friend said I should make a Web site for them. I agreed that I should dutifully inform others about the "true" meaning of the cards, came up with a name for them and made a quick-and-dirty site to house them.

Q. Why did you decide to do it?

Oh man, are you even listening to me Safety Cat? Put down your ball of yarn [but it's so bouncy!], I just answered that! My tall friend said I should make a Web site to house them, and I figured he was right. It would be fun to make a simple site and share the truth for all to see. wasn't taken, so I quickly snatched that up.

Q. Why planes?

I guess because planes are the only place you can find these things. If I had been on a helicopter and seen weird cards like these I probably would have created Helicoptertoons, but that's just how it turned out! The whole idea of safety cards is so weird to begin with, though. They're like the poster child for death but the pictures are all colorful and people are so happy. It's like they're picking on themselves already just by existing. I don't know of anywhere else you can find quality safety cards like that.

Airtoons Licorice EaterQ. How many humans have been saved with your Airtoons? Animals (the better half)?

I'm not exactly sure, but it has to be a lot of humans, over the years. The site usually sees anywhere from 600 to 2's of thousands of unique human visitors during the day. I don't usually get many animal visitors. I think mainly because most of them do not know how to use a computer [That's a common misconception among your kind]. I'm pretty sure they never look at the safety cards either, so in an emergency situation they are pretty much on their own! [Safety Cat doesn't need safety cards. He stays out of bad situations in the first place by never leaving the confines of that box his Human calls an apartment.] No offense! It's pretty amazing that you can e-mail let alone use a computer [ Safety Cat is adept at many things, human.].

Q. Safety Cat sees you have started doing government warning signs as well. What's next? Traffic signs? Astrological signs?Airtoons Radioactive Material

Yes! Those were pretty fun to do. I don't know, though. I think in the future I want to try to stay true to the name of the site and stick with the airplane goods. I actually haven't added a new Airtoon in quite some time, I guess mostly due to other projects keeping me busy and general laziness. As a cat, I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from there. [ It happens.] I know it's not that exciting but I AM working [here and there] on the subtle kick-in-the-pants of the site. I'm moving some things around, improving the toons navigation a bit, and adding international support.

Q. What do you have against air quotes?

Haha, I don't really have anything against "air quotes" per se, it's just that people look so silly making them, especially more than once per hour or so. I think that should be the maximum air quote limit. There's an awesome Web site with improper usage of quotes, too! In case you are not familiar, it's Where's your blog?! Is it safe?

[Yes, Taber. Not only is it safe, it is the best safety blog out there. Thanks for asking]

Until next time, meow.


Posted by Safety Cat on Oct 22, 2009

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